Eye of the Storm. Short Story.

I hope everyone had a good weekend.

Mine was pretty fun, went out for food and drinks and had a blast. It’s been a while since I’ve gone out drinking rather than staying in someone’s house or going out simply as a celebration of something. Celebrations are fun too, but they can be a bit stressful, there’s a bit of pressure for it to be a super-awesome night and that can diminish the fun a bit sometimes.

Beyond that I didn’t get up to much. My sister was over, along with Finn who is absolutely giant now, and he still has another 7 inches or so to grow, plus he had to broaden out. It’s bizarre how fast he is growing. He’s also calming down slowly but surely. He’s still all puppy like, but you can tell he’s getting better control of himself and becoming more mature. It’s a very strange thing to watch.

On with the show!

___________________________________________________________

Angela ignored the stares as she moved through the store, the whispers, the glares.  She took a deep breath occasionally, reminding herself that it wasn’t her fault and it had nothing to do with her. She picked up eggs and added them to her cart, then she stopped. She never really ate eggs, Jeremy was the one who ate the eggs, she picked them out of the cart and put them back. Brian liked eggs too, but she hadn’t seen him in years. It was so strange, all those little things that she still wasn’t used to, those things she did out of habit. She pushed the trolley, not paying much attention to where she was going. She never brought a list out with her. She had tried that before, but then she would become stressed and panicked and something was usually forgot. She much preferred this method of picking up what ever she thought of at the time. It hadn’t steered her wrong yet. Angela never really liked chocolate or sweets, so there wasn’t much impulse buying.

 

 

“Oh my god. It is her.”

 

“Are you sure?”

 

“Totally. Go ask her if you don’t believe me”

 

“You must be crazy if you think I’m going near that psycho bitch.”

 

 

Angela continued her slow, steady pace. She ignored the stage-whispered conversation as best she could. If she wanted, she could complain to the manager, she used to do that, but it never got her very far. No, she would just ignore it and move on. People like her needed a tough skin, hers was still thickening but it was getting there. She barely left the house for the first two years. She had decided to move after that. The house was notorious, she was notorious. People would throw rocks through her windows, graffitied her walls with unspeakable words. The police had been sympathetic at first, then annoyed and exasperated until eventually, it wasn’t worth getting them involved.

 

Angela knew what they must have thought of her, what everyone thought. She was the wife of the Two-Faced Killer. The man serving multiple life sentences for the murder, rape and dismemberment of over forty people. He seemed indiscriminate in his victims, there was no linking factors, at least none that could be determined, they had simply caught his eye. Women, men and even a child. She felt the bile rise in the back of her throat. No. Don’t think about it. Angela pushed the thought down, getting rid of it. It wouldn’t do to dwell on these things if she didn’t have to.

 

 

Angela went to the tills, she was sure there was something she had forgotten, but it was best to leave now. The people from before had taken to following her around the store, no doubt hoping to get a picture for some reason. Sadly, she was used to it. She knew what they thought about her, what they said. That there was no way she was unaware of what her husband was doing, that she had to be in on it, supporting it or at the very least, hiding it from family and friends. She had been just as shocked and devastated as anyone, she had tried to explain that. She had even gone on interviews in the beginning, hoping that people would listen to her, that they would realise. Nothing she said ever made a difference. Still, there was some benefit to it all, she was paid well for the interviews, well enough that she was able to move house, despite selling the original at a hefty loss. She had been safe in her new place for almost half a year when people began to realise who she was. Some nosy local went around posting flyers to “warn the neighbourhood who had moved in.” She moved out pretty soon after that. Kids seemed to have taken a liking for egging her house. The only saving grace was that the house itself wasn’t infamous so it was easily sold. She was willing to wait for a better price this time. She didn’t have to deal with the stares and accusations from people she knew, people whom she called friends. Oh of course they all turned on her straight away, they didn’t know either and they went from being completely surprised, to saying they “always thought he was a bit off.” She didn’t blame them. She did before, but not now. She knew they were panicked, scared and they didn’t want anyone coming after them. At first she hoped that they would all close ranks around her, that they would support her, maybe even try and protect her from the worst of it. She was woken up from this hope pretty quickly. People visited when he was first arrested, checked in on her, then they found out why he was arrested. Angela herself didn’t know for the first two days. Jeremy told her he was going on a business trip again, no one felt it necessary to tell her that he had been arrested, caught attacking a young woman as she was out jogging. It had only been luck that he was caught when he was. A young child saw it happen and told his father that “the bad man pulled a girl into the trees.” The father had investigated rather than ignoring it. Jeremy had been knocked unconscious and was groggy, it took them a while to figure out who he was. Then the media caught wind of it and suddenly her entire support network vanished. People stopped coming with coffee, they stopped asking if she was ok. She was dead to them. Brian, her son, had a hard time of it too, but he dealt with it differently. He was in that twilight stage, he had just finished school and was heading to college soon. He moved out pretty quickly. He changed his name too. He hadn’t spoken to Angela since. She suspected that he blamed her like everyone else. She had tried to find him, but she hadn’t succeeded. She had considered hiring someone, but it felt wrong. If he wanted to be found, well, she’d find him again.

 

 

The teller greeted her with a smile and a blank look. At least someone in this damn place didn’t know who she was. She was getting worried someone had been talking about her again. She only rented now. Of course it was under a different name, but still, people still managed to find her. Occasionally a reporter would want to track her down, try to convince her to give another interview or worse, meet with the families. It was all so ghoulish. Those people had their lives ripped apart, and so had she. She was a victim of Jeremy too, she didn’t suffer as much as they had, no one should have to go through that kind of suffering, but she was still the villain. It was her fault that he hadn’t been caught sooner. No one cared about her. They seemed to conveniently forget all the help she gave the police, that she testified in court, saw what he had done to those people. She bagged her items quickly and paid. She was almost there, soon she’d be home.

 

 

Her apartment was her sanctuary, no one bothered her here, no one knew her. She kept herself to herself and she liked it that way. The less people that knew about her the better. Angela always hoped that one day it would fade away, that it would all be forgotten about, but as time went on she began to fear that it would always be there. People would never let her forget, never let her move on. She had thought she had found the love of her life, that everything was perfect. Now she was alone, alone in her small apartment, surrounded by the remnants of her shattered dream, the shards always resurfacing to cut her again and again.

 

As she put away the shopping, the thought came again, quick and almost unregistered, that subtle, whispering voice. She ignored it, but she found it difficult to do so. It was so tempting. She could do it, just do it and be free. She stopped what she was doing and counted down from ten. She wouldn’t do that. She couldn’t. She knew that someday her son would seek her out. She needed to see that day. It was the only thing she lived for now.

 

 

About Alan James Keogh

My name is Alan James Keogh and I am a 22 year old writer with dyslexia. I am doing a Masters in Creative Writing in U.C.D (University College Dublin). I also write a blog in which I post new short stories every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, that's right, three new short stories a week, every week. They can be viewed at https://AlanJamesKeogh.wordpress.com I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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2 Responses to Eye of the Storm. Short Story.

  1. Harliqueen says:

    Wow, you managed to get such emotion into a short story!

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